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Open Simulation Interface (OSI)

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The Open Simulation Interface [1] (OSI) is a generic interface based on Google's protocol buffers for the environmental perception of automated driving functions in virtual scenarios.

As the complexity of automated driving functions rapidly increases, the requirements for test and development methods are growing. Testing in virtual environments offers the advantage of completely controlled and reproducible environment conditions.

In this context, OSI defines generic interfaces to ensure modularity, integrability, and interchangeability of the individual components:

For more information on OSI see the official documentation or the official reference documentation for defined protobuf messages.

[1] Hanke, T., Hirsenkorn, N., van-Driesten, C., Garcia-Ramos, P., Schiementz, M., Schneider, S. & Biebl, E. (2017, February 03). A generic interface for the environment perception of automated driving functions in virtual scenarios. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from


Example of writing and reading an OSI message in Python
from osi3.osi_sensorview_pb2 import SensorView
from osi3.osi_sensordata_pb2 import SensorData

def main():
    """Initialize SensorView and SensorData"""
    sensorview = SensorView()
    sensordata = SensorData()

    """Clear SensorData"""

    """Get boundary line attributes from SensorView"""
    sv_ground_truth = sensorview.global_ground_truth
    sv_lane_boundary = sv_ground_truth.lane_boundary.add()
    sv_boundary_line = sv_lane_boundary.boundary_line.add()
    sv_boundary_line.position.x = 1699.20
    sv_boundary_line.position.y = 100.16
    sv_boundary_line.position.z = 0.0
    sv_boundary_line.width = 0.13
    sv_boundary_line.height = 0.0

    """Set boundary line attributes to SensorData"""
    sd_lane_boundary = sensordata.lane_boundary.add()
    sd_boundary_line = sd_lane_boundary.boundary_line.add()
    sd_boundary_line.position.x = sv_boundary_line.position.x
    sd_boundary_line.position.y = sv_boundary_line.position.y
    sd_boundary_line.position.z = sv_boundary_line.position.z
    sd_boundary_line.width = sv_boundary_line.width
    sd_boundary_line.height = sv_boundary_line.height

    """Serialize SensorData which can be send"""
    string_buffer = sensordata.SerializeToString()

    """Clear SensorData to show parsing from string"""

    """The received string buffer can now be parsed"""

    """Print SensorData"""

if __name__ == "__main__":


lane_boundary {
  boundary_line {
    position {
      x: 1699.2
      y: 100.16
      z: 0.0
    width: 0.13
    height: 0.0

See Google's documentation for more tutorials on how to use protocol buffers with Python or C++.



Install cmake 3.10.2:

$ sudo apt-get install cmake

Install pip3 and missing python packages:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-pip python3-setuptools

Install protobuf 3.0.0:

$ sudo apt-get install libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler
Build and install for C++ usage:
$ git clone
$ cd open-simulation-interface
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make
$ sudo make install
Install for Python usage:


$ git clone
$ cd open-simulation-interface
$ sudo pip3 install virtualenv
$ virtualenv -p python3 venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
$ python3 -m pip install .


$ git clone
$ cd open-simulation-interface
$ sudo pip3 install .

For Windows installation see here for more information.


A generic interface for the environmental perception of automated driving functions in virtual scenarios.




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